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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

#2,185: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Angela’s Ashes - ★★★☆☆
I guess this is a tale of almost unrelenting tragedy, but somehow it was less depressing than I'd prepared myself for. We found humor in unexpected places in this movie, and somehow that seems appropriate to Frank's outlook.

I bet the book's a fair sight better than the movie though. For instance, I think this movie is called Angela's Ashes because the book is called Angela's Ashes, but I bet the book is called Angela's Ashes for reasons that are apparent to the reader. So that's one leg up on the movie.

The Snapper - ★★☆☆☆
I liked how the family dog, Famine, liked watching television, and how he's the only character that the father talked to like a regular person at the beginning of the movie. Other than that, I didn't really care about anyone in this movie.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation - ★★★★☆
I like spy movies. This is maybe the James Bondiest Mission:Impossible yet, even though it's also both a return to and subversion of the classic M:I format, which has been absent from the franchise for ten years or so. I suspect Ghost Protocol might still be my favorite of the bunch, but Rogue Nation's got a lot going for it - for one, it's new. For another, the Jeremy Renner is a lot better this time, even if I did mostly just pretend he was still playing Hawkeye. I also think it's great that all the stuff in the ads was from the mostly-unrelated-to-the-plot opening adventure.

Ethan's getting to be an old pro at recovering from field defibrillations. Another couple movies and he'll have died on the job more often than Jack Bauer.

Mission: Impossible - ★★★☆☆
As when watching Terminators 5 and 1, watching this first Impossible Mission surprised me with how many details from the first found their way into the newest entry. This movie wasn't an origin story in its day, but it reads as a pretty weird origin tale for the Ethan of 20 years hence.

Also, Jon Voight is just 4 years older in this movie than Tom Cruise is in part 5.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - ★★★★☆
I liked this so much that I don't understand why it's not being advertised. It seems to be a rule that the more heavily advertised a movie is in LA (ahem, Rikki and the Flash, Fant4stic,) the more horrible it's going to be, but it's just weird when a big-looking movie gets so little support from the studio that they don't even try to bolster your interest through brute force.

Guy Ritchie could use a new franchise to replace Sherlock Holmes, and I'm all for it being this, although this doesn't seem like quite as refillable a concept - the agents can't spend all next movie bristling at being forced to work together again. Henry Cavill was great in ways I had no idea were even an option. He was stylish, period cool, and funny, as was the whole movie.

Although I have to ask, who flashes back to two minutes ago?

#2,180: Ant-Man

Misery Loves Comedy - ★★½☆☆
Probably not a very good movie, but fun to put on in the background and listen to comics chat.

FWIW, I'd probably vote that the terrible childhood thing is a predictor, but not a direct precursor. I always think that I'm an exception to the rule, but then I realize that's just because I'm not miserable now.

Mr. Holmes - ★★★★☆
Fun, lovely, sad, faked me out once or twice by not going for an insane twist reveal thing. Uses the time that could have been spent on insane twists instead on earned payoffs. It has that classic novel-ish, multiple time period structure. Also has BEES!

Paper Towns - ★★★☆☆
Another solid high school movie of 2015. I recall really liking the music as it's used, but the soundtrack album sounds like one boring, samey blob.

This is a much less subtle movie than It Follows, and I delight in reading each review that misses the point. Of course, I would do well to imagine these reviewers complexly - not as idiots, but as people. Perhaps as idiotic people!

I dug the adventure gameness of the third act (of five), but Me And Earl And The Dying Girl is probably the better movie here, and carries a very similar message with more charisma.

Ant-Man - ★★★☆☆
I bet this would have been a good Edgar Wright movie. It'd be interesting to see the script he left behind. The one they shot has some pretty cliché lines in it, but I like to imagine that they were written deliberately, a counterpoint to the intended stylish visuals. Instead, we got Paul Rudd standing still in the middle of a frame saying something bland. It feels like the difference between Airplane! and Zero Hour!, except in this case the deadpan dry dialogue actually was written to be done as a comedy... and nobody noticed.

From the first announcement, I agreed with the popular wisdom that Marvel would never make a movie starring Hank Pym, but now I kinda wish they had.